- The Washington Times - Monday, April 10, 2006

Online exclusive: updated 3:15 p.m.

ANNAPOLIS — Morning and afternoon talks today among House and Senate leaders, the governor and Baltimore Gas and Electric (BGE) executives failed to produce a solution to an impending jolt to Maryland’s consumer electricity costs.

With the General Assembly set to close at midnight tonight, several sticking points remained, including lawmaker demands that BGE spend $750 million to offset an upcoming 72 percent increase in electricity rates. The company, meanwhile, has asked that lawmakers reject added regulation of the utility’s business.

“If we don’t leave here with an agreement that benefits everybody, then we all are to blame,” said House Speaker Michael E. Busch, Anne Arundel County Democrat.

BGE executives said the chief obstacle to a deal remains the legislatures threat to overturn vetoes by Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr., a Republican, of bills that would block its $11 billion merger with a Florida utility.

The Democrat-controlled General Assembly has until midnight to override the vetoes unless the governor makes good on his threat to extend the legislative session.

Talks were set to resume today at 4 p.m.

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